Last week we began something new…a new Adult Bible Study, titled #love. It seemed more than appropriate to have a Study looking at love when we as a church profess Matthew 22:37-39,
He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
The “He” is Jesus talking to “him” – a religious man & a lawyer who had just asked Jesus, “Teacher which commandment in the law is the greatest?” Just like a lawyer to ask a question right? And yet, Jesus does not yell at the man at all, he answers, and my short version of what Jesus says is this, love God & love neighbor. What I’ve taken to be communicated eloquently and modernly in #love. I’d offer the fullness of the Word of God, God made flesh walking with us, the fullness of the grace of God — and the Good News is summed up in this #love.
So easy, right? Just #love…but then why does it seem so hard? Why do we not seem to know what is love anyway? We’ve not answered everything — and yet we’ve begun (and more honestly continued) the journey together. On day one we literally sat with these verses, hearing them read aloud 3 times (and in 3 different translations!). And we got to listen to each other — to hear how God was emphasizing different words/phrases/images to each of us in these 3 verses.
And we ended with some “homework” some “life practice” because we don’t want what we hear and ponder and learn in church to stay in church — we want God to be in the process of changing and transforming us! So — we had some “homework.” For those of us who need a reminder (and for any who want to join who might not have been present) — our “homework” was to sit in our belovedness. The scripture says to love our neighbor as ourself — and we are taking time to realize that in order to love our neighbor (well) then we need to love us (ourselves). So we want to start in belovedness — we want to start rooted in the deep knowledge that God loves us, sees us (ALL OF US!), and delights in us, says we are very good….and not because of what we do/own/buy — but because we are.
Some of the homework ideas shared were to:
- When showering, imagine each drop of water is God telling you “I love you. You are beautiful.”
- Finding a scripture that is affirming to you (ex: I am fearfully & wonderfully made — see Psalm 139:14) and meditating on it, writing it out, reading it to yourself daily.
- When looking at yourself in the mirror telling yourself, “God loves me. I am beautiful.”
- If you are able, treating yourself to something & just delighting in it.
- Wrapping a heavy and/or soft blanket around you & imagining it is God’s arms wrapped around you.
- Going on a long walk.
The assignment is to sit in our belovedness. And when we come together this Sunday after opening in prayer we will be sharing with each other our experiences with the homework.
Looking forward to all who will be able to come!
Rev. Sabrina Slater